Building a new home isn’t exactly an inexpensive endeavor. But building a new home in the DMV—a consistently desirable market—comes with the accompanying less-than-desirable price tag. Throw in today’s interest rates and housing market and it’s easy to see how prospective buyers may become overwhelmed or even priced out of the purchase before they truly begin the process.
However, buying a new home—even in the current economy and market conditions—isn’t impossible. Here are a few things to consider if you’re trying to break into the market.
Take advantage of a buyer’s agent
If you’re looking at new builds, yes, take the time to peruse builder’s sites and explore floorplans and communities virtually. You might even take that next step to visit in person, and doing so can be a great way to get a better understanding of what things are like in real life. Many communities will offer spec homes the builder has already started constructing without a specific buyer contract, and walking through those homes can make the process seem a bit more real while also seeing the quality of work, floorplan, and fixtures come to life. However, when it comes time to explore actual pricing and contracts, it’s in your best interest to work with a buyer’s agent.
The builder may offer incentives for not doing so but remember their sales team and agents work for them. By working with a buyer’s agent, you’ll have someone on your team who can help negotiate—and even though they’ll have a commission of their own, they can watch out for your long-term interests while possibly helping you to stretch your dollar or even negotiate a lower sales price or additional inclusions.
Interest rates are what they are
Current interest rates are notoriously high, and, unfortunately, not a negotiable factor. Don’t cross yourself out of the market based on the interest rate alone. The rates may change for the better, but even if interest rates drop, chances are the housing prices or materials prices themselves won’t. If rates do drop, you can always refinance or buy down later.
Consider new vs. existing construction
Buying a new home is a time filled with decisions, and whether to buy new or existing is a big one. Your down payment, pre-approval, and loan process are likely large determining factors, and the process for building new is a bit different than buying existing construction—particularly if you’re considering a construction loan. Here’s a list of things to determine whether buying an existing home or building new is your best bet.
Stretch your dollar Before you even start looking seriously, set your budget and determine your wants and needs lists. Then evaluate every potential home against those factors. You may not be able to check every single box, and chances are good you may need to be a bit flexible in your approach, but if you’re open, there are a few things you can do to make every dollar count. Check out this quick list of tips. First-time buyers might